Body After Baby // Week 3

>> Thursday, July 7, 2016

You guys said you wanted to hear more about the postpartum period, both with adjusting to life with two kids and with regard to recovery. So, today I'm going to write about my recovery so far (Eloise is 3 weeks old as of yesterday), as well as some of the differences from the first time around.

You always hear that all pregnancies are different. And I've learned that this statement totally applies to recoveries as well. When I had Ada, I felt so much pain after birth. My tailbone hurt. My tear stung. I had issues with urine leakage. I generally felt blah and spent a great deal of time on the couch. I did start running (too) soon after giving birth (within a couple weeks), and I know I shouldn't have because I was still bleeding (which increased and turned bright red with activity), having a lot of pelvic pain and, yeah, leaking. Still, the exercise gave me something normal to grasp onto, so I kept it up.

This time around, I don't feel like I just have a baby. I feel, well, surprisingly normal despite carrying a little extra weight. I am thanking my lucky stars for it, too. I think two pushes versus two plus hours of pushing may be to credit for some of it. I did have tearing just as significant as I did with Ada, but it didn't/doesn't hurt and is healing well. I also stopped bleeding during week two. Instead of wanting to spend days on the couch, I've been itching to get out and about thanks to the summer weather. Movement feels good and even therapeutic.

As far as stats go, I gained a total of 24 pounds in my pregnancy, topping off at 162. Here are a couple photos from two weeks postpartum.

I lost 16 in the week or so after giving birth. I have only lost another one since. I am at 145 pounds right now. My goal is to eventually get back to 135 pounds, which is where I seem to stick after kids. Before kids I was more like 125, but I find this weight takes a ton of diet and exercise, more than I'm willing to do at this stage of life. I know it could take a while to get back to a goal weight, especially since nursing isn't some magic weight loss cure for me. I held on to 8 pounds while nursing Ada for 17 months.

I don't have any diet plans right now. I am loosely tracking what I eat, mostly to keep a log of how much protein I'm getting in each day. (I'm trying to consume at least 65 grams per day.) I struggle getting enough, so I write down what I ate and -- next to it -- I write the grams of protein. I am also trying to keep an eye on my sugar intake. I'm not limiting myself, but I have a sweet tooth that can go easily out of control. Eloise also tends to nurse right during my meals, which makes me want to grab a quick cookie instead of waiting to make a good lunch with eggs, greens, and whole grains.

I am also back exercising with no pain or incontinence issues. I know it's like TMI to keep writing that -- yes -- I leaked after Ada's birth. But it's just a reality of the postpartum period that few people talk about. This time around I haven't had any urine mishaps. My bleeding has stopped and hasn't increased with activity. And I don't have any pelvic pain. It's kind of incredible.

I know very well that my body is still healing, though, so here's a rundown of what I've been doing.

  • I am sticking to slow two to three mile jogs about every other day. After Ada, despite all the issues I was having, I pushed myself to go farther and farther and didn't rest between sessions. I also wanted to get back to my paces ASAP. This time around, I don't even take a watch, but I estimate I'm running 10 minute miles. I go slow and walk whenever I feel like I just don't want to push. I also make sure to do a little walking before/after the jogging to warm up and cool down.
  • I have done some Barre workouts. These feel amazing to stretch and strengthen my body. Again, I don't do anything that's over 30 minutes, and I don't do more than one type of workout per day. 
  • I am also thinking of starting a yoga challenge (on YouTube) and trying to get in at least 10 minutes of stretching and relaxation each day.
  • Other days, like today, I just do gentle walking. I have no races on the calendar or other reason to be in any kind of mode where I NEED to do exercise all the time.
  • If at any point, I do get pain or other signs I need to step back, I will. But my midwife said to go ahead and do what feels good as it feels good.

That's how recovery is going. At least at week three. I won't be updating every single week like I did the last time around. So, maybe look for another one of these posts around week 6. I would like to run a 5K in late August. Not for time, obviously, but it's a Women's Distance Festival that I try to participate in every year. I suppose that's my current fitness goal. I look forward to updating you on how it's going!

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